Everything we know about Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 was announced all the way back in 2012, but with The Witcher 3, its expansions, and Gwent at the top of the order during most of the time between now and then, we’ve only heard scraps about CD Projekt RED’s next open world RPG. All combined, though, the past five years of interview snippets and trailers paint Cyberpunk 2077 as a behemoth of a game, even bigger that The Witcher 3 and with possible multiplayer features on top of hundreds of hours of single-player roleplaying.

Now that The Witcher 3’s last expansion, the great Blood and Wine, has been out for over a year, we expect to start hearing and seeing more about Cyberpunk. Until then, here’s everything we know so far.

What is Cyberpunk 2077’s release date?

CD Projekt has mostly stuck with the “when it’s done” line, but we know that it plans to release Cyberpunk 2077 between 2017 and 2021, along with another, still unannounced RPG. We’ve been hearing about Cyberpunk since 2012, so the expectation is that it’ll be the first of the two to release. Our guess, then, is that Cyberpunk 2077 will release in late 2018 or early 2019.

This is backed up by comments from a March 2017 financial results conference during which CD Projekt developers said that progress on Cyberpunk is "quite advanced" but that this year "belongs to Gwent." Next year, then, could belong to something else—though of course this is speculation, and it could be even further out.

How big will Cyberpunk 2077 be?

Back in September 2016, we learned that CD Projekt applied for grants which suggest Cyberpunk 2077 could feature a “huge living city” and “seamless multiplayer.” 

That’s backed up by this story from 2015, in which we learn that Cyberpunk 2077 will be “far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before,” including The Witcher 3. So, if we take CD Projekt RED at its word, Cyberpunk 2077 will be exceptionally large and, hopefully, full of sidequests.

Wait, multiplayer in a CD Projekt RPG? 

We first heard about multiplayer features back in 2013, but CD Projekt RED clearly knew the word could agitate its fans. "It will be a story-based RPG experience with amazing single-player playthroughs," reassured managing director Adam Badowski in a 2013 talk with Eurogamer, "but we're going to add multiplayer features."

Recently, CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński said that the multiplayer features would ensure Cyberpunk's "long-term success," which caused some concerns given the current kerfuffle over microtransactions, especially with Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot box progression system going over so poorly.

CD Projekt responded to the concerns with a tweet meant to reassure fans that they'll still be getting a Witcher 3-style singleplayer epic. "Worry not," it said. "When thinking CP2077, think nothing less than TW3—huge single player, open world, story-driven RPG. No hidden catch, you get what you pay for—no bullshit, just honest gaming like with Wild Hunt. We leave greed to others."

Where does it take place?

Night City

The cover of the Night City sourcebook. Click here to enlarge.

Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in the year 2077—which you probably didn’t need us to tell you—in the “sandbox environment” of Night City, a fictional city between San Francisco and LA (as described here, although if it's really in Del Coronado Bay it would be well south of LA) that already exists in the Cyberpunk pen and paper RPG created by Mike Pondsmith. Here’s an except from the Night City sourcebook, describing Night City as it exists in Cyberpunk 2020:

"A planned urban community founded in 1994 by the late entrepreneur Richard Alix Night (1954 - 1998). Established at the head of the Del Coronado Bay (dredged to current capacity in 1999), and facing the Pacific Ocean to the west, Night City is a modern city of the twenty-first century. Its wide streets and ultra-modern towers are home to over a million people, with another four-and-a-half million living in the greater Night City areas of Westbrook, North Oak, Heywood, Pacifica, South Night City and Rancho Coronado.

An exciting and vibrant place to live, Night City is even more fun to visit; world famous for its slogan "The City on the Edge of Tomorrow," the area hosts almost nine million tourists, conventioneers and corporate travellers every year. A planned community with an advanced rapid transit system, its own Net LDL, and a Corporate Center boasting representatives from over a dozen of the world's most powerful megacorps, Night City is a shining example of Technology Triumphant over the Trouble of the Past."

That’s an optimistic description, of course, leaving out the “mucky, nasty” parts of Night City, as Pondsmith puts it in the video above. Punks and corporate stooges of all varieties wander these foggy, once Mob-ruled streets, and by 2023, corporations are openly warring for them. Cyberpunk 2077 will show us what happened to the city in the aftermath of that war.

“People have wondered what’s going to happen, there are clues and hints—if we told you more we’d have to kill you, as usual,” said Pondsmith during Cyberpunk 2077’s reveal in 2012, which you can watch below. “One of them is a big hint I left for everybody at the end of the fourth Corporate War, when I dropped a small pocket tactical nuke in the middle of the Arasaka Towers, and that left kind of a really large real estate space that we’re gonna be playing around with.” 

The event he’s referring to happened in 2024 on the Cyberpunk timeline, which means we step into Night City a little over 50 years after part of the downtown was destroyed and, presumably, rebuilt. 

The announcement video doesn’t reveal much more, except that CD Projekt RED and Pondsmith are using Cyberpunk’s pen and paper combat system—though exactly how that’ll be implemented is unclear—and inventing new weapons and technology for the year 2077.

In a 2017 interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Pondsmith said that the CD Projekt developers "get it," which is why he's happy to work with them on the game, and explained a little about his approach to cyberpunk themes.

Other details

  • Witcher 3 composer Marcin Przybyłowicz is working on the soundtrack.
  • Back in 2013, the idea was floated that they may record all dialogue in each character’s language—Spanish, for instance—and have the player use a translator implant to decipher it. Which sounds pretty cool.
  • ‘Braindances,’ a form of futuristic, drug-like VR, will play a big role. "People live someone else’s life while sleeping in the gutter," lead gameplay designer Marcin Janiszewski told The Verge.
  • If you’re still worried at all by the multiplayer comments, here’s another instance of CD Projekt RED explaining that Cyberpunk 2077 will be an RPG like those it’s previously built, and definitely not a multiplayer shooter.
  • And regarding how much focus has shifted from other projects to Cyberpunk 2077, back in September 2016 we learned that more people are working on Cyberpunk than ever worked on The Witcher 3 at the same time.
  • Someone recently tried to extort money from CD Projekt by holding out of date design documents hostage.

More information

There’s an official Cyberpunk 2077 blog, though it’s scarcely updated, and lots of fan talk in the official forums. We expect to hear more as 2018 approaches, so drop by our hub of all things Cyberpunk anytime you're curious about the latest updates.